Is Your Bank Ready for a Cyberattack?

Banks have long been seen as symbols of trust and security...

They have vetting systems to protect our money, they have that giant vault to lock it all up nice and tight, they even have all those locking boxes where we can keep our valuables safe and sound. Just walking into your bank and having to provide a photo ID for an unusual transaction helps with an air of caution and service.

But what about the very real threat of a cyberattack that leads to a data breach or loss of our money? Is your bank’s computer network as safe as that vault with the giant door? According to a new report from Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute, even the banks have to admit that the answer might be no.

Around 180 security executives for different financial institutions around the world were polled for this study, along with more than 7,600 consumers. The discrepancy in their beliefs is what’s actually frightening.

The findings published in “The Currency of Trust: Why Banks and Insurers Must Make Customer Data Safer and More Secure” show that only one out of every five financial executives surveyed admitted they were confident in their institutions’ ability to prevent or halt hacking and data breaches. They also admitted that one out of every four banks surveyed had already been hacked at least once.

There’s a different finding in this report that is even more alarming, though, and it’s the customer perception of security. The security executives readily admitted that they are working as fast and as hard as they can to stay on top of their firms’ data, but that hackers find new ways every single day to stage an attack. Coupled with employee turnover—which means the need to train everyone on security almost daily, around-the-clock task when there are constant new hires—security teams are working overtime to make sure there are no weak links in the chain.

Consumers, on the other hand, painted a very different picture. When they were asked about their banks’ cybersecurity, most expressed 83% confidence in their banks’ ability to protect their data and their money. One key finding of the survey showed that despite the numbers of banks that had been hacked in the past, only 3% of consumers expressed concern about their banks’ ability to fend off an attack.

So how do we strike a balance between the perception that our data is safe, and actually keeping it safe? That’s the 24/7 work of IT departments and security experts. The real work, therefore, is in making consumers aware that they are a critical piece of the security puzzle as well. Whether it’s your financial information, your medical records, your employment record, or just the mail you carried in from your curbside mailbox, you are just as important to your personal security as the top experts. Keeping a close eye on your accounts and doing your part to secure your information helps the professionals do their job.

Contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. For on-the-go assistance, check out the free ID Theft Help App from ITRC.

Read next: It's Tax Time...5 Quick Tips To Stay Safe Out There

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